Field Guide for Vermont
Worldwide, there are roughly 120 different species of maples
(Acer). Thirteen of these are native to North America and
seven are native to Vermont and the northeastern United States.
In addition to the native species, Norway maple (an introduced
species native to Europe) has been planted extensively and
is often found growing wild (naturalized) in urban areas.
Sugar maple is the State Tree of Vermont and three other
states, our most commercially important maple, and is the
species most people associate with Vermont. Black maple is
very similar to sugar maple, but is only found occasionally
in Vermont, being much more common in the Mid-West and Lake
States. Red maple is also a very common species in Vermont,
deriving its name from the distinctive, bright red color its
leaves turn in the fall. Silver maple and boxelder are commonly
found along stream banks and floodplains. Both have been planted
as ornamentals, and boxelder is often found as a "volunteer"
growing wild in the urban environment. Striped maple and mountain
maple are both small trees commonly found in the forest understory
throughout the Northeast.
The Maple Field Guide Pages provide a photo-based key, as
well as individual descriptions and photos for each of the
maples common to the northeast. If you know the species you
are looking for, simply use the links to the right. To use
the key, simply go to the photo key page, "click"
on one of the leaf photos, and go to that species' page.